This week brought news that the eldest son of President Donald Trump is going through a divorce. On Thursday, it was publicly reported that Vanessa Trump filed for divorce from Donald Trump Jr. in a Manhattan court. And on Saturday, it was reported that the president himself played a role in trying to prevent the divorce from coming to pass ― Trump reportedly tried counseling Vanessa and Don Jr.'s marriage, in the hopes that they'd stay together.
Needless to say, the president's intervention was not enough to save the marriage. According to The New York Daily News, Trump attempted to convince Vanessa not to go forward with the divorce, arguing to her that her marriage was worth continuing, during Don Jr.'s 40th birthday party at Mar-a-Lago last year.
He reportedly tried again at some point between then and now, but based on how things have played out, it's clear that his advice was not heeded. And according to the report, the president was upset at the news of the divorce going forward against his urging.
"The President tried to intervene with Vanessa,” a source close to the Trump family reportedly told The New York Daily News. “He’s personally upset ... Donald Trump failed as (a) marriage counselor."
It was Trump who reportedly first introduced Don Jr. and Vanessa 15 years ago. The pair were both attending a New York City fashion show, according to a profile in The New York Times that ran following their marriage, and Trump was eager for them to get acquainted. In fact, he reportedly introduced them twice over the course of the event, once at the start, and once more during intermission, seemingly forgetting that he'd already done so.
Despite his efforts at playing matchmaker, all that came from his introduction, according to the Times profile, was "awkward conversation" between Vanessa and Don Jr. It wasn't until they met again at a party weeks late, and were introduced for the third time by a mutual friend, that they finally hit it off. They were married about two years later, and have since had five children together.
The couple's divorce filing, according to reports, is listed as uncontested, meaning both Vanessa and Don Jr. are in agreement about it, and as such there aren't likely to be outstanding issues regarding assets or custody of their children. In a statement to People magazine following the news going public, Vanessa and Don Jr. stated that they still "respect" each other and their families.
"After 12 years of marriage, we have decided to go our separate ways. We will always have tremendous respect for each other and our families,” the statement said. “We have five beautiful children together and they remain our top priority. We ask for your privacy during this time."
According to The New York Daily News report, there may also be some angst in the administration over Don Jr.'s split that's related to the ongoing Russia investigation, led by independent counsel Robert Mueller. The report quotes the same source close to the Trump family, who claims the possibility of Vanessa speaking to the Mueller investigation has caused additional tensions.
"The Mueller thing didn’t help,” said The New York Daily News' source. “They don’t need people (gossiping) about what she knows or doesn't know about Russia. ... Would you want a spurned wife who feels like she’s been cheated talking about you to investigators?"
To be clear, it's not at all apparent that the divorce will have any broader implications on the investigation, and as far as the couple's public statements are concerned, they've shown no signs of animosity or discord. In short, the upshot is that the president of the United States was reportedly eager to try to save his son's marriage, but he was not able to do so.